[India], Mar 6 (ANI): In connection with the Ayodhya land dispute case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would pass an order whether the Constitution Bench will continue to hear the writ petitions pending before it or these pleas will go before a smaller bench.
”Order as to whether writ petitions would be heard by this Bench or by a smaller Bench would follow,” the Constitution bench hearing the Ayodhya title dispute case stated.
The five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Nazeer on Wednesday also reserved its order on whether to send the main case of Ayodhya title dispute case to the mediation.
There are 14 appeals pending before the top court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement trifurcating the disputed site at Ayodhya into three parts for Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and the original Muslim litigant.
Apart from these appeals, there are several writ petitions pending before the Constitution Bench relating to the issue, and the Constitution Bench in its order said it will decide whether to hear these writ petitions or to send them to a smaller bench.
One of the petitions was filed by the central government seeking modification of its 2003 order to allow it to return the “excess/superfluous land” or undisputed land out of the 67.703 acres acquired in Ayodhya to its original owners including the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a trust formed by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The 0.313 acre plot, on which the disputed structure stood before it was demolished by 'kar sevaks' on December 6, 1992, was within the 2.77-acre disputed premises, the Central government had said, adding that it had then acquired 67.703 acres, including the 2.77-acre plot, through a legislation in 1993.
The Ram Janambhoomi Nyas is the owner of as much as 42 acres of the acquired non-disputed land and Nyas now sought return of excess land, said Centre’s plea.
The Centre has claimed that only 0.313 acre of land was “disputed” on which the structure stood and sought permission to return to original owners the 67 acres "non-disputed" land around the disputed structure in Ayodhya.
Another plea was filed by seven persons who claimed to be devotees of Lord Ram, challenging the constitutional validity of the 1993 law for acquisition of the land, including the Ayodhya disputed site.
Another petition was filed by residents of Lucknow, including two advocates, Shishir Chaturvedi and Sanjay Mishra, who had challenged the Constitutional validity of ‘The Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993’ on the ground that Parliament has no legislative competence to take over/acquire the property belonging to the State.
State Legislature has exclusive power to make provision relating to the management of the affairs of religious institutions working in the State, the petition had added.
The petition had said that the 1993 Act infringes upon the right to religion of Hindus guaranteed and protected under Article 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution.
The petition had also sought direction “to restrain the Central government and the Uttar Pradesh government from interfering in Puja, Darshan and performance of rituals at the places of worship situated within the land admeasuring 67.703 acres acquired by the Act particularly at the land belonging to Shri Ram Janm Bhoomi Nyas, Manas Bhavan, Sankat Mochan Mandir, Ram Janmasthan Temple, Janki Mahal and Katha Mandap.”
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had also moved the apex court seeking enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at the disputed site of birth place of Lord Rama in Ayodhya.
In September last year, a three-judge bench, headed by former Chief Justice Deepak Misra had ruled that the apex court would hear the issue purely as a "land dispute". (ANI)